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New and returning city leaders excited about the challenge

Voters across the county turned out Tuesday to elect mayors and councilmen. Some incumbents were returned to office, but for other cities, new faces will be directing their business in the coming year.

Bismarck

Alderman Noah Meade, Jr. was successful on Tuesday in his bid for re-election to his alderman seat in Ward II. Meade received 65 votes in the three-way race. Clarence G. King received 19 votes while Steven M. Creek received 13 votes.

“I am one happy fellow,” Meade said. “The residents have spoken loud and clear. I am looking forward to serving another two years. I am so happy. I want to do my best for the people of this town. I deeply appreciate all the support that I have gotten during this election.”

The only other race in Bismarck was uncontested. Gary L. Tate will represent Ward I. Tate’s and Meade’s term are each for two years.

Bonne Terre

Greg Tyree came out the winner of the race for a seat on the Bonne Terre City Council.

Tyree received 233 votes (52 percent) while his challenger, incumbent Kathy Stegall, who served one term on the council, received 207 votes (46 percent). There were six write-in votes accounting for a little more than one percent of the race.

Tyree believes the election results show it is time for a change. He said he felt it was time for a fresh set of eyes. Tyree said he believes it is time for the council to move in a different direction and take care of several objectives including street and water improvements.

He owns and operates Everything Electronic in Bonne Terre. He is a member of the city’s park board.

Desloge

A new era in Desloge is about to get under way with the election of David Kater as mayor. Mayor Greg Camp did not run for re-election.

Kater defeated fellow alderman Scott Bockenkamp 535-296.

“I want to thank Scott (Bockenkamp) for running a clean campaign,” Kater said. “I want to thank Greg (Camp) for what he did and what he has accomplished during his tenure as mayor. I especially want to thank the voters.”

Kater said he is looking forward to sitting down with city department heads to discuss future plans.

“I am looking forward to getting sworn in and getting things going,” Kater said. “I hope Greg (Camp) stays active in the city. Scott (Bockenkamp) has done some great things and I think he will be back. I think Chris Gremminger is going to be a great asset to the city.”

Gremminger defeated Becky Goodman for the Ward II seat.

Kater has said he is in favor of communicating with Park Hills officials directly concerning the litigation and issues that exist between the two cities.

“From day one I have said we need open communication with Park Hills,” Kater said. “The amount of legal fees that have been spent on this is not good. We need to sit face-to-face.”

Camp said he felt comfortable with either Kater or Bockenkamp winning the election.

“I feel that by these two guys stepping up and running, it made my decision not to run a lot easier,” said Camp. “I know things will be fine under David’s leadership. The key thing was in this race both of these guys love where they live.”

One of the first orders business for Kater after his swearing-in Monday will be appointing someone to fill his aldermanic seat in Ward III.

Kater said he has some names in mind, but he wanted to discuss the names with the board before he makes an announcement. Bockenkamp’s tenure on the board will also come to a conclusion following Monday’s meeting.

Gremminger thanked Goodman for what he called a good and close race. He received 198 votes to her 119.

“I am really excited about the outcome of the election,” Gremminger said. “I am looking forward to getting started. I am looking forward to working with the new mayor and the aldermen.”

Each Desloge ward has two representatives. Jerry Hulsey ran unopposed for alderman of Ward III. Jim “Yogi” Jones ran unopposed for alderman of Ward I.

The collector for the city will now be appointed by the mayor after the passage of Desloge Proposition 1.

“The position is a non-paid position,” Camp said. “No one runs for it, but an election is required by city law. The duties are taken care of by the city clerk and the deputy clerk. We asked the residents to do away with the election of the post and to allow the mayor to appoint the position.”

Camp said the appointment will have to be approved by the aldermen.

Farmington

Farmington voters elected Jeannie Roberts to the open city council seat in Ward III. Roberts defeated Bob Satterthwaite 203 to 111 in the race for the two-year seat.

“I feel great!” Roberts said after learning of her victory. “It pays to talk to the people.”

Roberts said she went door to door in the district, returning to those that went unanswered. She thanked the voters, especially those who held neighborhood gatherings so residents could meet and talk with her.

“It was old-fashioned politics and I had a great time,” she said.

Roberts added the city is “past due for a full-time firehouse,” and she is excited about plans for a courthouse annex.

A resident of the area for most of her life, Roberts is on the board of directors of the Downtown Development Association and is a board member of the Mineral Area Council on the Arts. She owns Botaniques on the Square.

In uncontested races, voters elected Charles Rorex mayor, Kevan L. Karraker city attorney, Larry Forsythe Ward I councilman, Russell Straughan Ward II councilman, and Clarann Harrington Ward IV councilman.

Iron Mountain Lake

One incumbent stayed in office and another was defeated in Iron Mountain Lake.

Voters re-elected Ward I Alderman Faron Henson, who defeated challenger Kathryn A. Adams 25 to 10 for the two-year seat.

“We’re going to keep on going in the right direction,” Henson said after the unofficial vote was in. “One of our goals is to get a better rate on the bond. We feel like we’re on the right track.”

During his campaign, Henson said his main goal was to work toward improving the lake’s appearance and to see that the remaining gravel roads are paved. He also wanted to address the “ongoing battle to maintain policemen” and achieve quick resolution to the issue involving the city’s current police chief so that the chief can return to work.

In Ward II, challenger Bill Gilbreath ousted incumbent Linda Miller by a vote of 18 to 9 in his first bid for public office.

“I’m kind of proud that I won,” Gilbreath said. “All I can do is work for the people.”

A retired laborer, Gilbreath ran to become more involved in the city and said during his campaign that he wants to encourage police to end the fighting, burglary, and other criminal activity in the area.

Connie S. Beard was uncontested for the Ward III aldermanic seat.

Leadwood

The City of Leadwood will have a new mayor. Jim Stahlman received just over 45 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

Stahlman received 73 votes while his opponents Charles “Tiny” Lewis received 67 votes and Brian Masson received 22 votes.

“I am absolutely elated,” Stahlman said. “I couldn’t be happier. I want to thank all the people that voted for me.”

Stahlman said one thing that is going to be a priority for him is Leadwood’s anniversary.

“We have our anniversary coming up and we need to continue to work on the city park,” Stahlman said. “We also need to work on our streets. I want to continue to bring small businesses into Leadwood to enlarge the city’s tax base. I want to see Leadwood continue to grow.”

Stahlman has lived in Leadwood for 10 years. He is retired from his job as a regional director of an insurance company. Stahlman was serving his second term as the Ward I alderman. That’s the seat Thomas F. Wahlers won in an uncontested contest. Dale Whelehon was elected uncontested in Ward II.

Park Hills

Park Hills voters re-elected three of four incumbents Tuesday night, and put a former councilman back in office.

Mayor John Clark retained his seat in a 491 to 375 defeat of challenger Daniel Naucke.

“I’m excited to win my second full term,” Clark said. “I think it was close. Naucke ran a good campaign and worked really hard.”

Clark said he would like to settle the ongoing water dispute with Desloge if Mayor-elect David Kater approaches him for discussion.

“We’d be glad to sit down and see this settled once and for all,” Clark said. “We have tried to sit with the previous administration at least three times at our invitation, and were not successful. I am very open to settling the water issue.”

A native of Flat River, Clark is a construction-operating supervisor for AmerenUE in the company’s Park Hills office.

During his campaign, Clark cited improved housing in the city and called economic development an ongoing priority.

In Ward II, incumbent Linda R. Dickerson retained her two-year seat when she defeated two challengers. Dickerson received 136 votes to 17 for Kim Fortune and 44 for Danny Keen.

“I appreciate all the voters who went out and supported me today,” Dickerson said after winning her bid for a fifth term. “I’ll continue to support them and stand up for them as I have in the past.”

A Park Hills native, Dickerson also has served on the board of the Park Hills Chamber of Commerce, the St. Francois County Habitat for Humanity board, and the Senior Citizen Aid Association board. She is program manager of the East Missouri Action Agency’s Self-Help Housing Program.

Dickerson supports increased business in the city to help boost its tax base.

Walter Parish, who was appointed to fill an unexpired term in Ward II until the election, lost his bid to retain the seat for the remaining year of that term. Challenger and former councilman David W. Easter captured 139 votes to 53 for Parish.

Easter left word after his win that his comments would be on his Web site. In his message, Easter wrote, “David W. Easter would like to thank all those that voted. He truly appreciates your support. This blog will continue through out the fiscal year. He looks forward to serving you once again.”

In his previous term on the council, Easter was a member of its annexation and parks and library committees. A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Easter owns Not Just Comix in downtown Park Hills.

Easter believes it is important to bring more businesses along U.S. 67 without sacrificing local businesses. He advocates “friendly annexation” and opposes forced annexation. During his campaign, Easter said that he wanted to serve the people, because doing what is right for people helps the city.

Ward IV Councilman David Holloway won his bid for his fourth term on the council. Holloway beat challenger Ed Harrington 173 votes to 124 in the race.

“I thank all the voters who came out and voted, and I’m really proud of Ward IV voters, who had a heavy turnout,” Holloway said. “Ward IV always has the most voters.”

A native of Park Hills, Holloway is a former police officer and current director of fire and rescue at Terre Du Lac. During his campaign, he stressed the need to improve economic development in the city. He was instrumental in helping developers get water and sewer in several new subdivisions.

In uncontested races in Park Hills, Jeff S. Cunningham was re-elected in Ward I and Tom Reed earned the Ward III slot.

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